Thanks for the input guys. I guess that i need to revise my opinion about the P-38. One other thing that surprised me is the P-38 is very easy to fly. I don't know how misguided this can be, but i read a quote a while back about the complexity of operating the P-38.
Rau wrote that he was being asked to put kids fresh from flight school into P-38 cockpits and it wasn’t working. He asked his boss to imagine “a pilot fresh out of flying school with about a total of twenty-five hours in a P-38, starting out on a combat mission.” Rau’s young pilot was on “auto lean and running on external tanks. His gun heater is off to relieve the load on his generator, which frequently gives out (under sustained heavy load). His sight is off to save burning out the bulb. His combat switch may or may not be on.” So, flying along in this condition, wrote Rau, the kid suddenly gets bounced by German fighters. Now he wonders what to do next.
“He must turn, he must increase power and get rid of those external tanks and get on his main [fuel tank],” Rau wrote. “So, he reaches down and turns two stiff, difficult gas switches (valves) to main, turns on his drop tank switches, presses his release button, puts the mixture to auto rich (two separate and clumsy operations), increases his RPM, increases his manifold pressure, turns on his gun heater switch (which he must feel for and cannot possibly see), turns on his combat switch and he is ready to fight.” To future generations this would be called multi-tasking, and it was not what you wanted to be doing when Luftwaffe fighters were pouring down on you.
“At this point, he has probably been shot down,” Rau noted, “or he has done one of several things wrong. Most common error is to push the throttles wide open before increasing RPM. This causes detonation and subsequent engine failure. Or, he forgets to switch back to auto rich, and gets excessive cylinder head temperature with subsequent engine failure.”
I hope some of this complexity comes when we have external tanks and more detailed fuel management.